by Kate Nixon
Upon perusing the lots for the Ann and Gordon Getty Collection, one lot shows a grouping of 28 books – seven books on William Morris, three issues of The Craftsman magazine, five books on American Arts and Crafts era design, two books on Mackintosh, one book on Pugin, one book on C.R. Ashbee, eight reference books and one folio of drawings by Jessie M. King “Seven Happy Days.” This lot appears to reveal the Getty’s affinity for the works of William Morris and C.R. Ashbee as well as a major aesthetic in the style of A.W.N Pugin and a respect for the Arts and Crafts style.
Christie’s of New York presents The Ann and Gordon Getty Collection: Temple of Wings, ending June 14th (Temple of Wings) and June 15th (Aesthetic Decoration and Early Modern Design), a series of both online and one live auction on June 14th featuring a collection from the landmark Berkeley estate originally built in 1910 for Florence Treadwell Boynton by architect Bernard Maybeck, known for his Arts and Crafts style. The series is split into three auctions: the in-person The Temple of Wings, and the online auctions The Aesthetic Decoration and Early Modern Design.
While the collection as a whole is inspired by the notion of “The House Beautiful” – the idea of populating your interior with objects that give you joy – the array of styles in this auction encompasses works of Arts and Crafts including American art pottery and silver by C.R. Ashbee and the Guild of Handicrafts denote a firm appreciation of things Arts and Crafts. A large an impressive collection of Tiffany Studios glass and lighting is consistent within the three auctions. Other masterpieces of 20th century design include furniture and rugs by Arts and Crafts designers such as Charles Annesley Voysey, the Dun Emer guild and Charles Rohlfs. ‘The interior of Temple of Wings showcases Mrs. Getty’s ability to recognise objects of beauty as well as their place in history,’ says Annsley McKinney, Junior Specialist for Christie’s Decorative Arts department. ‘The way she arranged objects throughout the house creates a conversation. She was very thoughtful about each space. Everything was done with intent.’
While the in-person Temple of Wings auction has just completed and realized prices are live on the Christie’s website, there is still time to bid on the two online auctions: the Aesthetic Decoration and Early Modern Design auctions. Additionally, there is a virtual tour of the Temple of Wings collection which can be seen HERE.
Textiles: A significant highlight throughout all three auctions is the number of rugs and textiles crafted and designed from the Arts and Crafts aesthetic. From the rare C.F.A. Voysey carpet to William Morris’s Hammersmith lines to designs by William’s daughter May Morris, a wide range of rugs and textiles are shown in the Christie’s auctions reflecting the Getty’s love of colorful and nature-inspired room floorcoverings. For the fans of May Morris’ designs, an embroidered firescreen with a rosebush design circa 1900 has estimates of $1,500 – 2,500. A Hammersmith carpet attributed to William Morris, the design can be found in the publication William Morris Textiles (L. Parry, New York, 1983) has estimates of $35,000 – 45,000. The C.F.A. Voysey carpet shown in the publication Greene & Greene: Architecture as a Fine Art, Furniture and Related Designs in the ‘Donnemara’ Donegal Carpet design has estimates of $50,000-70,000. Two Arts and Crafts style table covers with a wide silk-embroidered border surrounding a square of green silk and lined, the larger embroidered with a stylized foliate motif and the smaller embroidered with a bird-and-branch motif (with the designs most likely created by May Morris in 1900 have estimates of $800 – 1,200. For the many examples up for bid in tomorrow’s auction, see the catalogs live below:
A small sampling of the William Morris rugs including the “Hammersmith” selection of rugs and “Montreal” carpets. A number of “Donegal” William Morris designed carpets also appear in the auctions.
Art Pottery: a name you may recognize in the lot descriptions attached to this auction is Isak Lindenauer, an Antiques dealer in San Francisco who had a hand in supplying their collection with beautiful examples of art pottery. The wide selection of American Art pottery by Rookwood, Grueby, Marblehead and Newcomb Pottery reflect both vibrancy and the natural palette tones art pottery collect0rs know well. A great example are two Marblehead vases designed by Arthur Hennessey and executed by Sarah Tutt ($2,500-$3,500), circa 1910, are listed with Impressed ship marks, the taller painted and the shorter impressed with designer’s and potter’s marks HT, the shorter further with a paper factory label. The Newcomb Pottery vase groupings – with three vases in each lot – show off the works of artists Sarah Irvine, Anna Frances Simpson, Henrietta Bailey and others with tones of greens and blues and all lots of three vases have estimates of $1,500-2,000, while the four Grueby vase offerings feature that famous vibrant “Grueby” green tone with one exception: a matte blue-grey glaze and all four were acquired from Isak Lindenauer. The art pottery selection is rounded out by a couple of Lenore Asbury framed scenic plaques (one has $1,000 – $1,500 estimates while the other has $2,000-3,000), three vases from famous Rookwood artist Kataro Shirayamadani ($2,500-3,500), and lastly, a burgundy vase ca. 1905 from Jacques Sicard from Weller Pottery ($2,000-$3,000) with a iridescent burgundy ground decorated with stylized moss green pods and stems.
For more art pottery selections, you can see our guide for the Keramics and Rookwood auction here.
See examples of metalwork, leather, lighting and more in the live catalogs listed below:
Realized prices posted from Temple of Wings (June 14th, 2023):